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C-Reactive Protein

The Clinical Pathology Laboratory at Cornell University is pleased to announce that we now offer testing for C-reactive protein (CRP) in dogs. C-reactive protein is a positive acute phase reactant, with concentrations increasing substantially (50 fold or more) and quickly in response to acute inflammation or trauma. Concentrations also decrease rapidly with resolution of inflammation. C-reactive protein is one of the most sensitive markers of inflammation in dogs. Measurement of CRP is useful to confirm the presence of underlying inflammation (particularly in the absence of other clinical or laboratory indicators of inflammation) and to monitor response to therapy. Increases in CRP concentrations have been reported in various diseases, such as sepsis, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), and cancer.

Healthy dogs generally have CRP concentrations <10 mg/L, although some clinically healthy dogs can have slightly higher values (up to 25 mg/L). In internal verification studies at Cornell University, dogs with various inflammatory diseases (e.g. pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis, IMHA, and parvovirus enteritis) had CRP concentrations ranging from 43 to 290 mg/L (n=15). Three dogs (cholangiohepatitis, IMHA, parvovirus enteritis) showed decreasing CRP concentrations with sequential testing, which coincided with clinical and laboratory evidence of disease improvement, showing the diagnostic utility of CRP for documenting resolution.

C-reactive protein is measured daily on our chemistry analyzer, the Cobas C501, using an immunoturbidometric method (Gentian canine CRP assay). Expected turnaround time is 24 hours (usually same day) of receipt in the laboratory during weekdays. The upper and lower limits of detection of the assay are 5 and 300 mg/L, respectively. Concentrations can be measured in serum or plasma (EDTA or heparin) and the protein is stable in separated serum or plasma samples (not whole blood) for 14 days refrigerated and 3 months frozen in a dedicated freezer. The cost of the assay is $36.00.

For more information on CRP, please refer to the relevant webpage on